June 21, 2013
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Day 4 - Triple Divide Pass
Reynolds Creek CG to Atlantic Creek CG
After passing out at 8pm last night, I woke up around 5am as it started to get light outside. All that sleep was just what I needed! After breakfast Sparrow and I hit the trail around 6:30am on what would be our biggest mileage day yet.
You won't believe what we saw this morning either... The sun! After a few rainy days in a row, the feeling of the suns warmth was incredible and it made the days miles seem a little less daunting.
The start of the day was nice and easy, strolling by a number of waterfalls and along a good length of Saint Mary Lake. The only down side of this stretch was the dense, wet brush lining the sides of the trail, something akin to a car wash.
Continuing further up trail to Red Eagle Lake we bumped into Columbus, who was having some foot problems (blisters, etc.), and the rest of his crew (The Captain, Lush, and Man Party). We chatted with them for a little while and found out that there was a group of five other hikers just ahead of us heading up to Triple Divide Pass as well! It was encouraging to hear, and we were soon on our way up the trail with hopes of following the other groups tracks in the snow up and over the pass.
Somewhere along the way, at a creek ford I think, we must have passed the other group because there were no foot prints in front of us as we headed over the pass. No matter though as the views were stunning the entire way and the tops of the surrounding mountains were finally visible! The final couple miles up to the pass had a few steep traverses, but the snow was nice and soft making it easy to kick steps.
After many pictures at the pass and on the hike down we made it to camp around 7pm. Not a bad day!
Overall my body seems to be adjusting pretty well to the demands of the trail thus far and I am really enjoying the climbs up the snowy passes, which remind me of those in the Sierras along the PCT. It just feels good to be in motion. To breathe hard as you ascend a snowy pass knowing the reward of a spectacular vista is yours for the taking as long as you just keep moving. Ahhh
As of yet (10pm) the other two groups of hikers haven't made it to camp (they were planning to camp at Atlantic Creek CG as well) so I hope everyone is doing alright. My guess is that they turned around due to the steep snowy traverses, but who knows. Hopefully I'll find out more tomorrow.
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